Whenever I think I'm over Ani Difranco, I just need to go see her live and all the love and admiration I have for this woman comes bursting out.
I almost didn't want to go to this show. I was going alone (as I could not find anyone else to spend $40 on a ticket). It was a Saturday night, which meant the probability of a much more drunken crowd (and many of her fans tend to be extremely obnoxious already). And the First Avenue concert calendar had labeled that a show in the Record Room would be starting at 10pm. The Record Room is a little offshoot of First Avenue's mainroom where people go and listen to bass heavy dance music at an extremely loud volume. When I saw Amanda Palmer there, I left early because the Record Room was drowning out her performance and ruining the show for me.
But enough complaining because there was nothing to complain about last night.
She played so ferociously. All the power and energy she puts forth on stage was in full throttle mode. The sounds she makes with those acoustic guitars is unreal. You can talk about her politically charged lyrics, her beautiful soaring voice...but don't forget to talk about her guitar. She can play like nobody else I've ever seen.
The crowd was excellent. They were really into it, yet super respectful of everyone - including Ani. No "I LOVE YOU, ANI!!!" were shouted. Only one drunken woman was screaming the lyrics in my ear - but it was only for one song towards the end.
The set list was amazing and she played so many songs I hadn't heard in ages...including "Tis of Thee" which is a song I've recently fallen in love with again. It's like, how did she know that song was on my brain and to pull it out of obscurity? ; )
Ani's set list
Shy (good god this was so amazing and fun)
Not a Pretty Girl
Fuel (crazy cool version with opener Jenny Scheinman doing some wicked things with a violin)
Tis of Thee (totally cried)
Woe Be Gone
Harder Than It Needs to Be
Swan Dive (this is the song the shout singing woman started up on)
Out of Habit
I just will never ever miss a show she plays. Ever.
Ani flagged down the beer guy cuz she was thirsty.